Win or Die
Laws of The Seven Kingdoms
No weapon shall be bared in the presence of the King, save by his personal command or permission, his Kingsguard, or in the necessary defense of his life, or within the grounds of a tournament in which he is participating. The King may, at his discretion, appoint any of his citizens to a position within King’s Landing, including (but not limited to): the city watch, the King’s Guard, the Small Council, or any executive or administrative position directly answerable to him or relevant members of the Small Council.
The Small Council exists at the King’s suffrance in whatever size and capacity the King finds most suitable to assisting his rule. Any members of the Small Council may be appointed or removed at the King’s sole discretion. The King may, with due evidence, declare Lords or Houses to be guilty of Treason or Rebellion, and therefore enemies of the Seven Kingdoms. The accused are entitled to a trial except in the presence of clear and obvious danger or threat to the King and his subjects. The guilty are legally stripped of lands and titles, and all subjects of the King are expected to assist in the deliverance of justice.
The King has the absolute right to distribute, award, or occupy any unclaimed lands or territories within the Seven Kingdoms not occupied by Great Houses or their subordinates, or lands and territories belonging to Houses that are defunct, extinct, or in rebellion.
The King has the right to elevate the status of any Lord or House at his discretion in concert with or independently of awarded lands. The King has the right to award contracts, gifts, and other resources or favors at his disposal to any subject within the Seven Kingdoms at any time.
The King has the right and power to change any policy, law, economic practice, or military or diplomatic position within King’s Landing and the surrounding territories at his discretion, either directly or through the appropriate member of the Small Council.
The King may at any time empower any individual with the authority and resources to accomplish a specific task or set of tasks at his discretion. The King is in all ways assumed to be chief representative of the Seven, responsible for their will and Defender of the faith, the Sept of Baelor, and the good of all men.
THE RIGHTS OF NOBLES OF THE REALM
Within their respective territories, each Great House shall be responsible for the protection, organization, and development of all lesser houses, resources, citizens, and laws except where these threaten the rule of the King or safety of the Seven Kingdoms as a whole.
Each House may levy its own taxes, raise and maintain its own armies, establish its own trade, resolve its own disputes, and adopt its own customs. Each Great House MUST maintain a minimum force of 1500 men to be called into service within a week for defending the King, his lands, or the Seven Kingdoms at any time. These may include levies or sworn bannermen.
No House or Lord shall be deprived of title, land, or legal rights without a trial before the King or his chosen officials in King’s Landing, except in cases of outright and evident rebellion or threat to the King or Seven Kingdoms. Each Great House is responsible for the maintenance, patrol, and fortification of its own borders so long as these activities do not violate active treaties or encroach upon lands belonging to the King.
Each Noble House must receive and host the King and his entourage any time he arrives at their threshold, and render to him all rights afforded an honored guest.
Minor Houses are established by a Lord of a Great House. A Minor House has similar duties and responsibilities to that of a Great House, just smaller in scope and scale. How a Minor Lord governs his lands and people are left to his discretion, much like a Great House. The Minor Lord swears fealty to his Lord and answers directly to him.
Each Minor House is subject to the will and demands of its respective Great House, only to be superseded by orders from the King. Minor Houses may petition the King to intervene against cruel treatment or unlawful conduct by their patron Great House, but must present substantial proof of these claims. Each Lesser House patrols and maintains lands on the behalf of their patron Great House, providing appropriate tithes and military support as needed.
Though local traditions or customs may be implemented, it is assumed that the father has full rights to arrange marriages for their children. The Lord of the House, if they are a separate person, has the right to approve or disallow any marriage arrangements for their family.
If a marriage is legally performed without the consent of the father or Lord, that marriage remains binding. As part of the marriage, the father of the bride must provide a dowry to the husband, who must in turn pay a bride-price for use by his wife in emergencies or for self-maintenance should her husband die, fall ill, or be captured by an enemy.
Marriages between nobles are typically performed by the High Lord of the kingdom, or the King himself, in addition to the requisite Septons. Likewise, the head of a Lesser House may perform
a marriage between any citizens of the lands they hold. This custom is not enforced, and the Lord may decline to fill this role as they see fit.
Marriage confers inheritance rights upon any children resulting from the union in the normal course of law.
Lords have judicial power in cases arising in their domains. While landed knights are sometimes Lords in all but name, only the Lords are given the right to administer the high justice for capital penalty. It is a lord’s duty to keep the peace, hear petitions, and mete out justice and punishments, all in the name of his lord, and ultimately, in the name of the king. The lord or his officers would hold local courts, listen to petitions and accusations and rule based on the evidence and law. The lords may entrust tasks to their sworn lords, landed knights, and bailiffs, to help them keep the peace, perform local judgments and oversee executions. If the lord is unable to give sentencing, it is up to the lord of the great house holding dominion in that area and eventually the king to give sentencing, as the final authority.
Laws are enforced to various degrees depending on the disposition of the local lord or the status of the accused. Since most wrongs can be atoned for by the payment of a fine, wealthy people can often get away with things that commoners cannot. This is especially true if the accused is of high status and commands influence and power. In some cases overlooking an offense is in the best interest of the local lord.
Additionally, highborn such as lords and nobles are afforded more rights by law: they cannot be denied trials and are allowed more leniency in their conduct. The legal majority for men and women is 16.
The punishment for treason and oathbreaking is death. Poachers may lose a hand. It is customary for thieves to lose a finger, but harsher punishments may be doled out depending on the circumstances. Various mutilations for assault, castration for rape, and floggings for minor offenses are usual.
Executions are usually carried out by hanging or beheading. For harsher crimes the “crow cage” is used, in which the victim is imprisoned without food or water until death. Its name comes from the crows who often end up feasting on the criminal's flesh.
Flogging is the common punishment for members of the lower social classes, its severity determined by both the number of strokes and the location of the flogging.
Any accused of crimes or misdemeanors are subject to the King’s Justice, either through a local Lord or Magistrate, or by direct proclamation of the King himself.
The King’s commands supersede all normal process of law. The accused are entitled to a trial, in which the evidence against them is presented to the judge(s), and then any who wish to speak on their behalf may do so. Trials, at least among the nobility, often begin with a prayer from a septon beseeching the Father Above to guide them towards justice. The accused and witnesses are sworn to honesty before giving testimony at a trial. Of old, the High Septons might appoint seven judges to try a case, and if a woman was accused, three of them might be women, representing maidens, mothers, and crones. The accused is given one chance after all evidence is presented to speak on their own behalf, after which the verdict is rendered and sentence decided upon, if applicable. “Taking the black” to join the Night’s Watch, is an alternative to criminal punishment.
By taking the black, one’s crimes are forgiven and he is exiled to the wall severing all previous ties. Women are not allowed to take the black. Nobles accused of high crimes such as murder, treason, blasphemy, or similarly infamous deeds, may request a trial by combat. The accused shall fight to the death against their accuser or the accuser’s champion. The Gods shall determine which side is right, and the guilt or innocence of the accused will be signified by their defeat or victory respectively.
The accused may select a champion, as may the accuser, but any champion for either side MUST fight voluntarily.
Any crimes committed against the Seven Kingdoms or the Faith may be answered by the King, who may appoint a champion from his Kingsguard or citizens at his discretion. Only a knight of the Kingsguard can champion a queen in a trial by battle if she has been accused of treason.
Trial by combat may be requested by the accused during their trial, but must be requested BEFORE a verdict is rendered.